With more than 3.3 million ballots cast, voter turnout throughout the state in the March 15 Illinois primary was even higher than the 2.9 million cast in 2008, according to unofficial election returns. In the city, more than 780,000 people, or roughly 52 percent of registered voters, turned out to cast ballots. The overwhelming majority of those ballots were cast in the Democratic primary.
Among key county-wide races, former prosecutor Kim Foxx, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s former chief of staff, delivered a decisive blow to incumbent Anita Alvarez in the Democratic primary race for Cook County State’s Attorney.
According to unofficial vote totals from March 15, Foxx garnered roughly 62 percent, while Alvarez picked up around 26 percent, and private attorney Donna More picked up around 12 percent, of the citywide vote. Foxx will face prosecutor Christopher Pfannkuche in the November general election.
Alvarez had been battling a wave of controversy following the release last year of police video footage showing a Chicago Police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014. The public, and Alvarez’s two opponents, condemned Alvarez for waiting 400 days to bring charges against the officer, Jason Van Dyke, and for fighting against the tape’s court-ordered release.
Embattled Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, whose office has been the subject of a federal investigation, won her race against challengers Ald. Michelle A. Harris (8th) and civil rights activist Jacob Meister. Brown captured more than 49 percent, while compared to Harris’s roughly 30 percent and Meister’s roughly 21 percent, of the vote
United States Rep. Danny K. Davis (7th) beat political upstart and Iraq War veteran Thomas Day handily, garnering nearly 83 percent of the citywide vote. In Springfield races, state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (4th), Rep. Ford and state Rep. Camille Y. Lilly (78th), whose districts span large portions of the West Side, all ran uncontested.
On the ward level, it’s likely that Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th) was successful in his bid to replace former 29th Ward Alderman Deborah Graham as that ward’s committeeman. State Rep. Ford had launched a write-in bid for the position after he was removed from the ballot earlier in the race. So far, the unofficial results only show Taliaferro’s share of the vote total — not however many votes Ford may have garnered as a write-in candidate. Aldermen Mitts, Michael Scott, Jr. (24th) and Jason Ervin (28th) ran uncontested for their ward’s respective committeeman seats.
Mitts, Acree headed for Democratic convention in Philadelphia
Hillary Clinton picked up victories in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and here in Illinois in the March 15 Democratic primary election. Two days after the polls closed, officials are still counting the votes in Missouri — where Clinton leads by less than a percentage point.
With more than 1,600 delegates to Sen. Bernie Sanders’s roughly 850, Clinton is less than 1,000 delegates away from securing the 2,383 needed to accept her party’s nomination at its July convention in Philadelphia — and if that happens, two prominent West Siders will be there to have a hand in making history.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Clinton’s roughly two-point margin of victory in Illinois “earned her 68 national convention nominating delegates here compared with 67 for Sanders. The remaining 47 delegates include party leaders and elected officials, with 21 of them already announced as backing Clinton.”
Alderman Emma Mitts (37th) and Rev. Ira Acree, pastor of the Greater St. John Bible Church in Austin, were two of the most popular delegate candidates from the 7th Congressional District running to represent Clinton at the nominating convention.
Both were running among 26 people to represent either Clinton, Sanders or Martin O’Malley as 7th District delegates. Clinton and Sanders each had nine delegates on the ballot, while O’Malley, who has suspended his campaign, had eight. Voters, each of whom could choose up to nine delegates (regardless of candidate affiliation), chose all nine Clinton delegates.
Acree and Mitts were the top two vote-getting delegates in both the Cook County suburbs and the city. State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, a Sanders delegate, received the most votes among all non-Clinton delegates in both the city and the suburbs.